Rocking Your Jock: The Wide World of Sports and Where It Has Intersected With Music
It’s pretty clear to anyone who can chew solid food that the music used to incessantly market professional sports is weighing down the planet with a malignant, corrosive shittiness. Sports have a way of giving immortality to some particularly insidious ear sewage, extending sell-by dates for decades and causing untold amounts of psychic damage that will leave you begging for the return of marching bands. "Whoop There It Is," "Let’s Get it Started," "Tubthumping," "Pump Up the Jam," and that crap ass Blur song have all reached immortal super-virus status thanks to this odious phenomenon.
So why must we be antagonized by shitty music to watch our favorite sports? Why must we be ordered frantically about an imaginary dance floor by 3rd rate usurpers to the trailblazing un-genius of 2 Unlimited and C&C Music/Coat Factory? Because when it comes to pro sports, money doesn’t just “talk” anymore. It $hreds. It also yodel$, jam$, drops phat ba$$ and of course, $pit$ mad flow. Here are some of the most recognizable offenders:
The National Football League in particular has a clear agenda to foist the worst possible musical manure on its audience, leveraged with all the subtlety of a crowbar root canal. Whether it’s deformed, plodding Godsmack riffage or Usher’s cocksure odes to douchedom, the Lovecraftian entities running the NFL know their fanbase will put up with any imaginable form of ear-rape in order to watch their cherished parade of spinal injuries and Chevy commercials. And the trajectory is ever downward. Hank Jr’s spit-bellowing tragedy of a Monday Night Football theme was like weekly exposure to low level radiation, but for fuck’s sake, I’d rather hear Chris Collinsworth try to rap the National Anthem than endure Faith Hill's cortex-slaying re-mangle of an already idiotic Joan Jett song.
Sure as Bruce “It’s Time!” Buffer has the world's easiest job, the Ultimate Fighting Championship has been cross promoted heavily within the uni-browed genres of TestostrEMO, Rupture Rock, Knuckle Shuffle, and Scrap Hop. So while the NFL unleashes Shania Twain to warble through “Man, I Feel Like a Woman,” the UFC delivers a sonic barrage of face-kicking blood lust straight through your cerebral cortex. You’ve really (not really) gotta admire Zuffa’s willingness to go where the NFL won’t in terms of appealing to the finer sensibilities of everyone’s inner Klingon.
The National Basketball Association clearly suffers from the same acute Usher fetish as the NFL. He’s like their security blanket once they finally retired the symphonic ballyhoo of John Tesh's “Roundball Rock” from NBC’s telecasts. Since then our ears have been continually sleazed by a parade of overwrought egos the equal of any star athlete: Pittbull, Kanye, Chris Brown, Drake and worse. Sweet titties on acid, I'd rather be Rick Rolled to death. It kinda makes we wonder how bad Allen Iverson’s attempt at a music career really could have been.
I guess NASCAR is technically a “motorsport” but more importantly, it is a manifest representation of man chasing his long-dropped tail. Musically, it is a suck-cipher, swerving from Ricky Van Shelton to Kid Rock with high octane stupidity. NASCAR’s pop country/butt rock collision perpetrates a most heinous crime against humanity in the modern American culture wars.
Professional Play Fighting never really contributed much to the world of music. Unless you’re somehow counting “terrible” as a contribution, in which case, Hulk Hogan’s Wrestling Boot Band provides a torturous benchmark in sheer, contemptible excrement unmatched by even the likes of fellow stunt-thespians Randy Savage or John Cena. God, I can’t believe I even know these guys names. Can anyone recommend a good lobotomist?
Few sports are more sleep inducing to watch than baseball. Therefore, to periodically wake their audience up, Major League Baseball has long encouraged star players to use entrance themes. As you might imagine, there’s a lot of Led Zeppelin and Lil Wayne going on at the old ball game, but not many takers on “Trapped in the Closet” or “It’s Raining Men.”
Despite being neck-breakingly awesome, hockey always lags behind in the ratings. But while 60-year old tunes blared from a rink organ are certainly no worse than, say, any given note from a Barenaked Ladies song, it seems like maybe it’s time for the National Hockey League to take a page from the MLB and use entrance themes too. Of course when two full opposing lines take the ice together it’d be 10 songs all at once in a sudden, blaring cacophony of champions, but I think I'd prefer that over being continuously bludgeoned with the meaningless, geeked-up rants of the sports announcers. Of course they could just do away with all the descriptive yelling and Jock Jams and just let us hear the damned game.
But we all know that'$ never gonna happen.